The Rest of Our Story
As you read in Jeff’s book, Your Economic Destiny, Jeff and Carrie Mendenhall’s inspiring story began during a personal financial meltdown so severe that homelessness seemed the likely outcome. Jeff and Carrie stared economic adversity in the face, just as many other Americans are doing today—only a few paychecks away from losing their business, car or home.
But what began as a devastating financial tsunami miraculously turned out for good, setting Jeff and Carrie on a path to save as many families as possible from economic ruin. They’ve seen firsthand the wealth-stealing effects of financial mismanagement, and they have a powerful message of encouragement for those facing circumstances beyond their control.
But after sitting across the table from hundreds of American families day after day, Jeff recognized that time was running out. He and Carrie could not physically reach enough people and show them the truth, so he felt God put it on his heart to write the message down in a book. Now through Jeff’s book, Economy Destiny website, speaking engagements, TV programs, the Your Economic Destiny radio show, and one-on-one financial mentoring, he and Carrie are on a mission to restore the financial landscape of America, one family at a time.
Nehemiah’s Model for Today: Rebuilding of the Wall
When Jerusalem’s wall needed rebuilt and repaired, 3 vital things took place:
- God’s people united against their enemies and protected those who were rebuilding the wall. Faced with devious enemies who opposed the work of restoration, Nehemiah told the priests, the government officials, and the rest of the nation’s people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14).
- It took time for the real enemies to be exposed. At first, many people in the nation had mixed feelings about who the real enemies were. Who should they stand with? Who should they oppose? In a similar way, today’s Occupy Wall Street protesters are confused: Should they blame the rich…a foreign financial enemy…or oppression by their own bankers and government?
3. Nehemiah challenged corruption wherever he found it. He pointed out that the people were being oppressed in several different ways. First, his own countrymen had enslaved each other with excessive debt and interest (usury) on their businesses and homes. This had gotten to the point where people had to borrow from their own brothers/countrymen just to pay the taxes due on their homes and businesses. Sound familiar?
Nehemiah said the coming generation was being enslaved because of this massive debt, much as is happening in America today: “We have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved” (Nehemiah 5:5).
In the same verse, he pointed out that people felt they had no hope of rescuing their children or rebuilding the wall, because their homes and businesses were now owned by others: “We are powerless, because our fields, vineyards and homes belong to others.” Nehemiah also warned the lenders to immediately STOP exacting usury on their fellow citizens and GIVE BACK whatever they had wrongfully taken (Nehemiah 5:6-12).
Fortunately, the lenders in Nehemiah’s day complied and gave back the homes, land and businesses they had taken via excessive interest. They all joined in unity to help rebuild the nation.
But this kind of turn of events is very unlikely to happen in America, because our banks are enslaved to other banks around the world. They’re linked together in a way reminiscent of Mutually Assured Destruction during the Cold War—yet in this case the destruction not be to a single nation, but to the economic world order. So “We the People” must take action on our own to protect ourselves and our neighbors in a way that also promotes personal responsibility and the courage to protect our liberty and freedom.
Applying Nehemiah’s Lessons
Just as the people in Nehemiah’s day had to discern who their real enemies were, so must we. This isn’t always easy. Those dealing with debt and usury in Nehemiah’s Jerusalem struggled to know whether to blame their own countrymen or an outside enemy. For us, the real enemy is not each other or the capitalistic economic system, although it may be tempting to think so at times.
Because of a lack of financial literacy, most people were unable to recognize that they were getting drunk on easy credit and chasing the American Dream as if it could be obtained with little or no effort. Even the well-educated middle class was deceived, thinking they were making all this wealth because they were so smart. In reality, they were riding an unsustainable bubble, fueled by government printing presses flushing more and more money into the system.
When the people in Jerusalem were released from the excessive usury imposed by their countrymen, they were also released from the bondage and confusion of not knowing who the real enemy was. Then each family understood the work that was necessary for them to do in order to fulfill their role in rebuilding the city’s wall. The families not only rebuilt their own piece of the wall, but they also took responsibility for the unified goal, helping rebuild even their neighbors’ parts of the wall.
Even though unity toward the goal was finally established, Nehemiah and his comrades faced great opposition to the rebuilding of his nation’s foundation. But Nehemiah kept believing that God was on their side in this grand enterprise, and he replied firmly to the naysayers, “Nothing like what you are saying is really happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
Nehemiah recognized the strategy of his enemies: “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed” Nehemiah’s defense was a prayer of just four words, “Now strengthen my hands” (Nehemiah 6:8-9).
When he heard reports that his enemies wanted to kill him, Nehemiah said, “Should a man like me run away…to save his life? I will not go!” (v. 11)
He realized these men had been hired to intimidate him, give him a bad name, and discredit him.
When the wall was rebuilt and the enemies heard what had been done, they became afraid and lost their self-confidence. They realized this great work had been done with the help of GOD!
The people of Jerusalem realized that God was on their side, and He had been on their side the entire time. Yet they didn’t easily grasp the fact that their own poor decisions had led to their difficult predicament. They had been disobedient, rebelling against God to the point of even killing the prophets He sent to admonish them and turn them back to Him. What a loving, longsuffering God!
Finally, their eyes were opened to see that God had handed them over to their enemies because of their rebellion. When the nation realized they were oppressed, they cried out to God and He heard them. In His great compassion, He delivered them and rescued them from the hand of their enemies. Here again, history is repeating itself in our day—and it will continue to do so until we get the message.
However, it’s difficult for people to learn the messages of history when they’ve never been educated on history’s truths. Just as happened in the days of Nehemiah, it’s time for the people of the United States of America to join together in unity to help buy back this nation—one family at a time, one business at a time, and one church at a time!
One of the lessons of Nehemiah’s story is that it’s impossible to rebuild a nation when the families in that nation don’t even own the land they’re fighting for! You see, home ownership and private property are critical keys to having strong, proud Americans in a position to fight for their country.
We believe in our hearts—with every fiber of our being—that AMAP will play a vital role in helping America’s families rebuild our nation’s wall. It will help us step up to the cause of national restoration and buy America back! As Moses challenged Pharaoh many centuries ago, so God is calling us to cry out against the bondage of His people today: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me!” (Exodus 7:16)
We must also follow Nehemiah’s example of protecting the wall-builders among us. If we ourselves are not on the frontlines of combat, we must surround and pray for those who are. This is a matter of HONOR—another key ingredient in our national restoration. Not only are we to pray, but we must take action, mixing our faith and works together.
Economic Destiny Outreach
We need to live out the vision of Isaiah 58:12, repairing the breach and raising up firm foundations for the next generation. We can do this, as we all do our part to restore the financial landscape of America.
The end result, our nation will turn from worshiping money, credit, and government as their source to worshiping Jesus as thier source. Trusting in Jesus to provide, to save, to restore, to heal, to begin doing everything we do to bring glory to Him. Anything otherwise is a vain attempt to play the role of God in each others lives which leads to biting and devouring our neighbors instead of loving one another (we are one body with many parts) called to work together. If we follow God’s plan for unity and restoration people will take notice that men and women of faith took the initiative to bring financial freedom to their countrymen. In turn, many will turn and give glory to God! They will see that this dramatic turnaround could never have been accomplished by a secular people.
Once again this country will turn to Almighty God and honor Him as the one who has helped them in their hour of need. God has not fallen asleep when we need Him the most—He’s just waiting for us to wake up and do as He instruct us in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will
I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”